Fresh out of school in the mid 1970's and the most complex calculating machine I had seen and used was a slide rule... My first job at Strathclyde University thrust me into the 'forefront of technology' when they purchased this mini computer, the DEC PDP8a.

It introduced me to teletype printers, paper tape readers/punchers (with data transfer rates of 10 Bytes per second), VDU's and the BASIC programming language. Shortly after I left, c1979, they moved onto Sinclair QL's and Apple II's..I think I missed out there...

As can be seen from the picture the computer was modified for local I/O.